The emotional support done by a loved one’s visitation is helpful for the success of inpatient addiction treatment. Although there are certain restrictions that rehab facilities set in terms of visitation, it is not prohibited at all.
The policies of visitation vary among different inpatient centers and as a close companion, it is important to understand these policies before barging in at the doors of the treatment facility. Keep in mind that patients follow a daily routine inside the rehab and it is vital for visits to be set ahead because inpatient care must strictly be uninterrupted.
What Are The Visitation Rules In An Inpatient Rehab
Each inpatient addiction treatment facility has its own set of visitation guidelines following the existing community protocols relating to COVID-19. It is important to contact the facility first before planning to visit a friend to avoid certain mishaps. Meanwhile, the following are the most common rules when it comes to visiting a friend in a rehab facility.
Visits must be scheduled and approved by the therapist.
Generally, it is the rehab center that schedules the first three dates of visitation. This applies to most inpatient addiction treatment facilities. This is to allow the patients to adjust to their new environment and refocus themselves from their usual day to day responsibilities at home to their new treatment plan. Visitors are also not allowed while the patient is in the detox phase which can usually last up to 14 days.
In some cases, a patient is only allowed to accept visitors as soon as they exhibit a more positive disposition at the rehab center. This is also the reason why visits must be set ahead and approved by the patient’s therapist. It is important to consider whether the condition of the patient is capable of handling visitors or not.
Bringing in alcohol and drugs is strictly prohibited.
Friends who are known to have an existing substance use disorder are usually not permitted to visit the patient. This is to avoid occasions of persuasion to substance use. As rehab facilities aim to establish a drug-free environment, there is really a strong provision about prohibiting alcohol and drugs in the rehab center.
All kinds of medicines – even over-the-counter drugs – are not allowed to be given by visitors to patients. Even in the facility, all drugs are kept in a secure place inaccessible to them. It is only with the supervision of medical staff that they are allowed to take certain medicines. This is to ensure the safety and welfare of the patients themselves.
Stay only in the designated area for visitors.
Rehab facilities are open to visitors at varying hours. Some are open from 2 pm to 9 pm only while others are open for up to 24 hours. Peak visits usually happen from 10 am to 8 pm. In line with this, there are occasions when visitors are allowed to dine with the patients. However, they are totally restricted from going inside the rooms of the patients in the rehab center.
Visitors have designated areas where they can talk and spend some time together. With the existing COVID-19 restrictions, some visits are limited to two people only and sometimes children may or may not be allowed to come as well. It all depends on the guidelines created by each rehab center.
What Can Visitors Do In The Inpatient Rehab
As you enter the rehab facility, expect that you will be thoroughly inspected for sharp objects, weapons, and illicit substances as this is essentially part of the security protocol. Bringing in pornographic materials, or exposing the patient to movies or digital resources are strictly controlled as this might trigger an emotional disturbance that affects their treatment.
The following are a few of the things that visitors can offer to patients to help them ease their longingness for home life as well as boost their motivation to continue thriving for their treatment. The value of moral support is really essential to keep them inspired and determined to focus on their recovery.
Listen more and be supportive.
They could take advantage of the time to express their struggles inside the rehab facility. It is best to listen to them more often and show them that they are understood, that their feelings are valid, and that they are important and valued. This kind of emotional support can surely help them unload the burden they have been carrying inside.
Avoid occasions that trigger negative feelings.
As they are still in the process of healing, they might not be capable enough to carry stress. This might trigger their addictive behavior and cause further struggle once they get back to their daily routine in rehab. It is best to talk about topics that lighten up the mood and simply enjoy the time of being together.
Provide something they can look forward to.
You can prepare something they can look forward to in each of your visits. It can be a letter you could leave them, a precious gift, or a wonderful meal you took the time to prepare. These small gestures of kindness can make them feel that they are valued and that they are not alone in this journey. They are always thought of even though they are away.
Be present as often as possible.
As long as there are no significant reasons for someone to miss their visits, go and be present in the facility as often as possible. When patients have been inside the rehab for quite some time already, it would surely do them well to have regular visitors.
But what if you cannot visit them? Luckily, some rehab centers let the patient do a video or phone call to their loved ones. Whether you are a friend or a family member, the constant presence you share with patients inside the rehab facility allows them to feel that they are not alone in this uneasy path to recovering from addiction.
When they also hear from their loved ones how they are appreciated and valued despite their condition, it strengthens them to keep going.